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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
Day 6: unexpected blood 
12th-Jul-2009 12:19 pm
Let me see..
In Pamplona, they always run bulls from the Miura Ranch on the weekend because they tend to be "noble": generous and forgiving to runners. Exceptionally big, these bulls usually race through the streets like snow plows, pushing aside runners, but they rarely attack.

Not today.

A black and white bull named Ermitaño (Hermit), 575 kilos/1,265 pounds, caused most of the five gorings and other injuries during the five-minute run. Two were especially serious, and the last news I heard, three hours after the run, said both men were not in danger of death, which is a relief and a surprise.

The most serious injury came at the entry to the bull ring, when Ermitaño gored a runner in the thigh and threw him, then gored him in the chest, then attacked him again. The man was dragged from the street to safety with his chest spurting blood.

You can watch it here from Cuatro TV. There are other serious attacks, but this one begins at 3:35. You will see several runners grabbing the bull by the tail to try to pull it off. This is the right thing to do. The runner in white pants and a green and white shirt is especially experienced, and this is not the first time he has put himself at risk to help other runners. He's not the only one, just the easiest to point out.
http://www.cuatro.com/sanfermines/videos/sexto-encierro-ganaderia-miura/20090712ctoultpro_2/

More Cuatro footage of the goring. Not suitable for children or anyone troubled by violence and bloodshed.
http://www.cuatro.com/sanfermines/videos/imagenes-exclusivas-ermitano-encela-mozo-entrada-callejon/20090712ctoultpro_1/

TVE video with commentary, and the attack and events leading up to it are more clearly observed. I say that as a warning.
http://www.rtve.es/mediateca/videos/20090712/sexto-encierro-infarto-sanfermines-2009/542697.shtml

Miura bulls are usually run on weekends because, instead of 2,000 runners, as there are on weekdays, there may be 3,000, which causes security concerns. July 14 is Bastille Day in France, so it's a long weekend there, and French tourists arrive for the fiesta.

After the run, TVE interviewed an experienced runner who was at the attack. He thought today's injuries and the death on Friday might have a positive aspect. He worried about the size of the crowd and about the ignorance of many runners. "Son toros. They are bulls," he said, and not everyone seems to understand what that means. "Es importante que sepan en dónde se meten. It's important for them to know what they're getting into." Perhaps this will remind them.

Was he afraid of running now? No, nothing had changed. "Voy todos los días con miedo. I come every day with fear."

That was my Sunday morning breakfast.

— Sue Burke

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